Sanjay Patel is to leave his position as managing director of the Hundred following the conclusion of this year’s competition.
Patel, the man behind the ECB’s introduction of 100-ball cricket, was previously chief sales and marketing officer before taking charge of the Hundred when it was unveiled as a concept in 2018.
His departure comes at a time of uncertainty over the future of the competition, with newspaper reports in recent weeks suggesting the ECB could drop the format and refocus attention on its T20 offering.
“I’d like to thank Sanjay for all his work and dedication at the ECB over many years, and wish him the very best for the future,” Richard Gould, the ECB’s chief executive officer, said.
“There’s no doubt that the Hundred has been a success, helping cricket reach new audiences, bringing in important revenue and propelling the game forwards. It plays an important role in our game and I’m looking forward to a very long and successful future for the Hundred.”
The Hundred has been controversial from the start, with the ECB accused of alienating cricket’s traditional fanbase in pursuit of new audiences. Its launch was pushed back a year to 2021 by the Covid-19 pandemic, while a recent report by Fanos Hira, Worcestershire’s chairman, suggested the competition had made a £9 million loss in its first two seasons.
However, the return of cricket to free-to-air TV, via the BBC, and its role in giving the women’s game a higher profile have been credited with creating a more diverse appeal.
Patel said: “I would like to thank Sky, the BBC, and all our commercial partners for their support.
“I would also particularly like to thank my whole team for their hard work and dedication in launching the competition. I will always be grateful for their support and friendship. We have come a long way in a short space of time and it is down to their brilliance.
“I will miss this job and the people immensely but once we’ve completed the third season of the Hundred I believe the time will be right for me to look for a new adventure.”